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“A Very Nice Walk Back Through Time”

Litchfield History Museum
Ranked #9 of 20 things to do in Litchfield
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Litchfield History Museum invites visitors to explore the evolution of a small New England town. Furniture, historic clothing, household objects and paintings reveal Litchfield's history from its earliest European settlement to the present day. The museum's seven galleries highlight family life and work during the fifty years after the American Revolution. While in the area, visit the Historical Society's other site, the Tapping Reeve House & Law School, just down the road.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 3 May 2018

My husband and I visited the Litchfield History Museum on Sunday, April 29, 2018, the same day we visited the Tapping Reeve House and Law School, which was down the street. The Litchfield History Museum had three very nice exhibits addressing the social, cultural and political history and the evolution of Litchfield as a small New England town. It gave a nice depiction of Litchfield as a social, cultural and intellectual center. We found parking for this museum on the street in front of the museum, as well as in front of the shops and restaurants across the street from the museum. We visited the Tapping Reeve House and Law School first, which was down South Street and then the Litchfield History Museum, which was at the beginning of South Street. However, you could tour these museums in either order. Our tour of both museums took about an hour and a half in total, based on the amount of time available to us. However, we could have easily spent more time in each museum. We enjoyed both museums and we hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy them as well. They were interesting, informative and educational. Our experience was like a walk back through time. Also both museums offered free admission at the time of our visit, which was quite nice.

We started our tour of the Litchfield History Museum with the exhibit entitled, ‘To Weep with Those Who Weep: Mourning Practices in Litchfield’, which depicted the mourning practices of the 19th Century being influenced by the death of George Washington. Our nation’s loss of this leader caused an increase in memorializing the dead in Litchfield and the surrounding area, which is the basis for this exhibit. This was an interesting exhibit with all items on display nicely curated with good write-ups explaining them.

We then went to the exhibit entitled ‘By the Virtue of its Citizen’s: Educating a New Nation at Sarah Pierce’s Academy’, also known as the Litchfield Female Academy. This exhibit nicely depicted Sarah Pierce’s innovative approach to both formal and informal education, including a mixture of academics, needlework, drawing, painting and music and the connection the school had to the Tapping Reeve Law School, as a social and intellectual community. The needlework embroidery and watercolor paintings were very impressive in this exhibit. We really enjoyed this exhibit which was well curated with nice write-ups supporting the items on display.

Finally we went to the exhibit entitled, ‘Litchfield: The Making of a New England Town’, which provided a great history of Litchfield, being a patriotic stronghold and center for patriotic activity during the American Revolutionary War years. There was a section with artifacts on each section of Litchfield Village, including Bantam, Milton, Northfield and East Litchfield, all nicely done. There were also beautiful dresses, jewelry, furniture, paintings and other fine arts on display, reflecting an age of refinement in Litchfield. This was a very informative exhibit providing a good history of Litchfield, including a depiction of how Litchfield looked over 200 years ago, all nicely curated with detailed write-ups.

We liked this museum and recommend going to it.

Thank kzsull01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LHS1897, Public Relations Manager at Litchfield History Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2018

We are so glad you had a great visit! Please come back soon.

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Reviewed 25 May 2017

While conducting research on one of the church leaders in Litchfield County, I discovered a gem of an archive here. Their catalog is online, and with an email beforehand, I was able to conduct my research most efficiently in a bright cheery reading room. The museum was surprisingly good, and I even found a few things in their gift shop. Definitely worth a stop if you are living or staying in the region and want to know more about it.

Thank Thom P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LHS1897, Public Relations Manager at Litchfield History Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 30 May 2017

Hi Thom,

Glad to know you found our archives useful! We are so glad you came by and enjoyed both the library and museum. Hope you return soon!

Best,
Litchfield Historical Society

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Reviewed 18 November 2016

Only visited the Litchfield History gallery. It features an mosaic floor map of Litchfield ca 1820, several women's fashions of the 19th century, and about a half dozen Ralph Earle portraits (and one landscape!) and is worth visiting for the latter alone. Admission is free.

Thank CtFreddie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LHS1897, Public Relations Manager at Litchfield History Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 21 November 2016

Thank you for visiting! We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit and our collection. Be sure to come back and explore more!

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Reviewed 16 April 2016 via mobile

We throughly enjoyed this museum. Wonderful exhibit on local sporting and very interesting gallery of photos from a local photographer. Definitely worth a visit!

Thank MOB342
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LHS1897, Guest Relations Manager at Litchfield History Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2016

Thank you for your kind review of our new exhibits! We are happy you enjoyed your visit.

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Reviewed 21 October 2015

We stopped here while on a fall foliage drive. It was a good place to spend an hour learning about local colonial history and looking at the exhibit of fashions from a Paris designer from 1914-1918.

Thank StamfordBetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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